09 December 2020

How to clean oxidised silver objects : effective cleaning guide


Displaying your silver collection during the vacation is a longstanding tradition. Whether you're hosting a reception with collectible tableware, plates, tea sets, jugs or candleholders, every precious object should shine on the festive table. But, do you know how to take care of these items during peak vacation periods ? Please read our four mistakes to avoid at all costs, as recommended by Hagerty's trusted silver experts.


How to clean silver at home ? 4 mistakes not to make

Discover our jewellery and silverware cleaning advice by following the precise points below. Not all of the tips you can read on online are good to use. Find out here why.


1 - Use a dishwasher detergent

With the exception of knives, most dishes can be washed in the dishwasher. However, as far as silverware is concerned, that's another story. It is really not recommended to use detergents or any acidic products on silverware. To avoid rust, use a mild dishwasher soap on all rough items. No citrus-based detergents should be used. This is bad for silverware because the acidity of citrus can cause stains, pitting or discoloration.

Moreover, this technique will not remove large stain, it will only lighten the colour of the silver. This product is not optimal for the complete cleaning of your silverware.


2 - Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste

The abrasive in toothpaste can scratch the surface of softer metals and gemstones, and the long handle of the toothbrush allows you to put too much pressure on the parts to be cleaned.

In fact, if you were thinking of cleaning your silverware with a toothbrush, think twice. Never polish with hard sponges or thick surfaces with rough and soft sides. Silver is a very soft and malleable metal, so anything abrasive will scratch it. Medium or hard toothbrushes are also to be avoided.

This method is not 100% effective and may cause scratches on your silver objects. We therefore do not recommend that you use toothpaste to clean your silverware or jewellery.


3 – Use a few drops of hand sanitizer 

Most hand sanitizers contain 60-95% alcohol. Although alcohol effectively limits the growth of harmful bacteria, it also has a detrimental effect on the quality of jewellery. When we are constantly looking for disinfectants and washing our hands, our jewellery will be struck.

Alcohol-free hand sanitizer contains chemicals containing chlorine, which can tarnish jewellery.

With silverware, special attention must be paid to alcohol-free hand disinfectants. These disinfectants do not use alcohol as the main ingredient but contain chemicals and chlorine-based compounds. While they can still kill bacteria and germs, the irritating compounds they contain can corrode silverware. When using an alcohol-free hand sanitizer, the chlorine compounds release free radicals that cause chemical reactions. Ultimately, these compounds will damage the quality of your silverware.

You will certainly irritate and dry out your skin using this method. We do not recommend that you use this technique.


4 - Dipping your silver items into a bowl of lemon-lime soda 

Do not use abrasives (such as salt and lemon juice) or baking soda paste to clean silver plate or sterling silver objects as this will damage the silver. Goldsmiths usually add oxidation to complex designs to give silverware a sense of depth and shadow. Be careful when cleaning these areas to avoid removing the oxide layer that must be included in the design. Excessive cleaning with lemon juice can remove the oxidation needed by the artist on the silverware.

Moreover, the acidity and abrasiveness of lemon juice is too strong to safely clean jewellery, especially soft gemstones and silver jewellery.

This technique is time consuming and the sodas are not specifically designed to clean our silverware. We therefore advise you to only drink them and not to use them for your silver objects.


How to clean and prevent tarnish silver the best way ?

Cleaning silver products can be risky. If you use improper products, you risk doing the opposite, causing stains and damage your silverware.

There are many "grandmother’s tips” for cleaning these products. For example, by using oil, detergent, or other harmful products.

We rather advise you to follow the recommendations of experts on this subject who offer you products studied and designed especially for the cleaning of your silverware.


Use professional Hagerty silverware cleaning products 

These days, there's nothing more effective than formulas specially dedicated to cleaning silverware. Find below Hagerty products to clean silver objects quickly and easily. 


1. Silver Gloves & Silver Duster : Silver polishing gloves and cloth

For dusting and restoring lustre to your silver objects, you should use Hagerty Silver Gloves or Silver Duster.

These polisihing gloves and cloth clean and take care of silver and silver-plated metal. They allow to maintain daily and quickly the objects which are oxidized and they restore the original luster.

Thanks to its impregnated cotton, the Silver Duster makes vases, frames and other tarnished items shine. It protects and removes dirt from decorative objects.

The gloves will allow you to hold the item firmly whilst cleaning, keeping your hands dry. The cleaning is easy, gives instant results and does not cause any micro-scratches or marks on the metal.


2. Silver Bath : Silver cutlery cleaner

To quickly restore the shine of your silver cutlery, we propose you use Hagerty Silver Bath.

This dip bath cleans and maintains silver and silver plated cutlery. Silver Bath makes forks, spoons, knives and other objects for culinary art shine.

How to use the product? Look, it’s easy :

1. Immerse cutlery in the bath with the basket.

2. Wait 3 to 4 minutes and then remove the cutlery from the bath.

3. Clean, rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

4. To protect silverware, consider Hagerty Silver Guard Cutlery Roll.


3. Silver Care and Silver & Multimetal Foam : Silver cleaning paste

For cleaning your tableware and removing the oxidation of your silver objects,use Hagerty Silver Care or Silver Foam.

The paste will give back brightness to objects and maintains in depth tarnished silver and the other metals. It protects from oxidation for several weeks and removes dirt from silver. You will have almost instant effects and the care does not cause any scratches or marks on the metal.

Use the foaming paste to clean and take care of silver, silver-plated, pewter and steel objects. This care contains soap and vegetal solvents.


4. Silver Polish : Silver polishing lotion

For a deep polishing of your silver objects, use Hagerty Silver Polish.

The lotion cleans and takes care of silver and silver-plated metal items. It acts rapidly, is efficient and does not ruin your objects.

Have a look to the demonstration video of the product to see how easy it is to use, or read it below :

1. Shake bottle well before use.
2. Apply with a wad of cotton, a soft cloth or a wet sponge.
3. Rub thoroughly and leave on for a minute to ensure lasting effect.
4. Then polish off with a clean wad of cotton, a soft dry cloth or simply rinse and dry.


5. Silver Spray : Silver cleaning spray 

To clean your carved silver objects, use Hagerty Silver Spray.

The vaporizer is ideal to take care of chiseled and carved items, as it leaves a thin layer of product on the surface. The cleaning is easy, gives almost instant results and does not cause any micro-scratches or marks on the metal.

Moreover, the spray protects from oxidation for several weeks and removes dirt from any silver or silver-plated decorative objects.


Are you interested in our products ? Do you want to know more about us ? You can contact us any time and get your professionnal Hagerty’s product online.

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